7th Mar 2009, 09:07 AM #1
Triton Router table RTA300 VS Carba-Tec Cast Iron Top Router Table
I am looking to get a router table for my triton 2400 router I just bought. In another thread in a different forum (https://www.woodworkforums.com/f20/incra-original-jig-fence-woodpeckers-le-fence-newbie-90626)
I was asking about the woodpeckers fence + pro router table + place, but that will cost me $560 - am wondering if anyone has any views on the carbatec or if I am trying too hard to save money Its safe to say at the moment I don't really even have a clue how to use a router so I guess that should factor in to your comments.
Once you include the base of the triton the prices are fairly competitive.
$379.00 for the carba-tec
$199 + probably what $200 for the stand, so almost the same.
7th Mar 2009, 09:56 AM #2
The Triton table will give you no end of grief with it's uneven surfaces, there are those that have solved this dilemma with putting inserts into the top to level things out.
The C/Tec is a much better offering with a cast iron top and fence. But both are pretty small as in working surface area. If you don't want to make one yourself there are better choices but more expensive.
and Benchdog (though I don't know if they're available here) http://benchdog.com/pdf/Bench_Dog_2009_Catalog.pdfI make things, I just take a long time.
7th Mar 2009, 12:16 PM #3
What table you buy depends on what you need. Some feel obligated to spend $$$ to get the very best. Do they drive Rolls??? Triton does the job for me very well for the price I paid.
Enjoy your wood work.
7th Mar 2009, 12:56 PM #4
On larger work....the Triton will be fine. The un-even surface will not affect the over work.
When it comes to doing fine stuff...the Triton's un-even (or un-flat) surface causes noticable changes in the cut, and more finishing work.
The Triton table tends to flex too much, but allows relitively easy removal of the router etc tec.
The cast tables are better off set up with router mounted permanently, and left that way..but you always know it will be ready for action. Anyway...you can never have too many routers! (or angle grinders, or clamps, or 1/2 used bottles of glue, or 2 inch long offcuts, or.....).
Im glad I upgraded to a flatter table (not cast, but I wish it was now!)
7th Mar 2009, 02:50 PM #5
I went with a package from Woodpeckers - his professional top, phenolic insert, plus the basic Incra fence. I too have the 2400W Triton with the top adjust handle doodad, which works great after drilling the appropriate hole in the phenolic insert.
VERY happy with the insert (perfectly flat) and the Incra fence, but I wish I hadn't wasted money on his professional top. I think the design has changed now, so your mileage may vary, but I have the older one made of laminated light and dark coloured material (unsealed on top). Despite sealing all the exposed edges per instructions, and building a massive table to support it, the thing was never that flat to start with, and actually started delaminating after 12 months or so. In the end I made my own top from a slab of MDF coated 32mm chipboard, did the cutout to use my phenolic insert, mounted the Incra fence, and I'm happy.
As I said, I think Woodpeckers current top is different and has an MDF surface, but I certainly wouldn't recommend the older ones. His phenolic insert and the Incra fence are fantastic though, and well worth the $$$.
7th Mar 2009, 05:52 PM #6
Awesome thanks you all for your responses. I am interested to know what you mean by "basic Incra fence". I cannot find a basic anything incra, they all seem to cost the proverbial arm and a leg. I have been looking at the Woodpeckers LE Fence instead, and am interested to know anyones experience of that - along with the Pro Router table top from wood work supplies - http://www.woodworksupplies.com.au/category97_1.htm
I am assuming "Mr Brush" are referring to the "Pro Router table" top that causes you so many issues? The newer version looks quite nice - but then again I have never seen a router table in action!
So an additional question for you all - if you were to compare the Carbatec offering with the Pro Router Table top + LE Fence, how would those measure up, considering an almost $200 extra.
8th Mar 2009, 09:18 AM #7
They say hindsight is 20/20.
I started with:
After a couple of years, I found it just wasn't as flat as I needed as my woodworking improved, so i did this:
Article on the mod here: mod and accessories
Then I upgraded again by getting the Incra LS Positioner, and decided the Triton table wasn't worth adapting, so it became this:
My latest version of a router table is currently heavily (sic) in progress, and now looks like this:
Yes - I am creating a fully cast iron topped router table, and it isn't just one cast iron wing on the side of a tablesaw. It is 5 wings bolted together, and is around 1250mm x 680mm, and the top alone weighs in the vicinity of 100kg!
There are still some developments in progress, such as adding the Carbatec full router table Cast Iron wing (which can take an actual router lift), and the Woodpecker router lift with digital readout will hopefully be part of that upgrade.
Details on the progress here
The table will then have 2 routers mounted under it. The primary one on the lift, and the secondary one (as seen in the photo above) which will have a template copying bit mostly, but will have one of the two Gifkins bits in it when doing some serious box-making.
To get it to be the ultimate router table, I'll need to make a MUCH better base - the plans are in my head - oh to have some time!!!
20th Apr 2009, 06:09 PM #8Most Valued Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- Nth Qld
My son has the RTA 300 with a Triton 2400 router, which has had very little use. I used it for making a laundry cupboard and trimming the lamination on cupboard door edges etc. It was a real pain, as the table top was so distorted and uneven, I ended up clamping some laminated ply over the top for a better work surface.
Am now making my own table, at long last. Got a Triton TRA001 off eBay - ouch!! Cost $430. Later sdales were $480 and $560 - demand v supply. My big problem will be brushes and bearings for future maintenance. Any ideas where one might get some?
20th Apr 2009, 10:53 PM #9
21st Apr 2009, 09:00 AM #10
To clarify a few points made in this interesting post;
- Our previous Engineered Router Tops did provide some problems, the manufacturer kept changing their system?? We now have a full laminated ProRouterTop that performs exceptionally well.
- A basic fence is a big question, the Woodpeckers LE Fence is similar in function to the Triton, in that it allows great control for edge work, allows edge planing, can accept featherboards, but its joinery capacity is limited to bit profile joints, lock mitres, drawer joints etc.
- The basic Incra fence would be their 'original' 200mm range, limited to a few basic box / dovetail joints.
- The intermediate Incra offering would be their UltraLite, 300mm range with a full range of joints (50 plus), all aluminium, does what both of the above fences do... with ease.
- The Rolls Royce of the Incra range is the LS 17" it has 450mm+ capacity, is based on a 1/32" pitch lead screw, and has micro adjustment to 1/1000th" again a huge variety of joints.
Basically, you have to determine what you need the router table to do then choose a fence that best suits these needs. Our free 65min DVD may help in making this decision, call us on 03 9776 1521 for a copy.
I hope that this helps.
21st Apr 2009, 12:00 PM #11
I tried the "original" model, and it didn't have the capabilities I was looking for which is why I upgraded, but it did convince me absolutely that the Incra concept was worth gold, and that's why I went for the LS17. I have long forgotten the price- guess it hurt at the time, but that fades and you still own the best tool for the job.
Like the addition Woodlee, of Norm's fence (New Yankee Workshop) to the Triton table!
21st Apr 2009, 12:40 PM #12
Couple of things. That exact same router table is available at hare and forbes and trade tools direct for less than carbatec, or was last time I looked.
As has been said depends on what you want to achieve. Like many others I tried triton, got frustrated and bought other stuff. My table saw with router extension and full incra system now owes me a little over $2k, but it is a full precision work center and very versatile.
For the $ your looking at you could buy an ultralite or LS17 and an incra router table complete with aluminium incra insert featuring magnalok rings. The big limitation on the ultralite is no differential fence offset, ie no wonderfence, and I suppose the 12" stroke although that probably doesn't matter to you.
So the questions are probably:
how much do you want to spend?
and do you want to do jointing cuts and edge profiles or dovetails and fingerjoints ?
I love my incra but my system leverages it's functionality to both saw and router. I am not sure I'd spend the $ on incra for JUST routing.I'm just a startled bunny in the headlights of life. L.J. Young.
We live in a free country. We have freedom of choice. You can choose to agree with me, or you can choose to be wrong.
Wait! No one told you your government was a sitcom?
22nd Apr 2009, 09:39 AM #13
Here's the Bench Dog Story....
They are certainly highly featured just a pity they weigh so b%()^$# much.
I've done the homework am I right in presuming that would be way outside normal affordability??
22nd Apr 2009, 11:30 AM #14
Grahame - glad to hear I wasn't the only one who had problems with the earlier version of your Engineered Router Top; I thought I'd done something wrong. Mine is currently propped up behind my bench while I try to decide if I can make anything else out of it...
The new version looks far superior, and certainly shouldn't delaminate like my older one did.
Very happy with all the other bits you supplied - the phenolic insert with Incra fence works a treat. My only worry now is sourcing spares for the Triton 2400W router when I need them - I haven't checked all the threads, but are there any signs of Triton spares becoming available??
30th Apr 2009, 11:56 AM #15
My copy of the older style engineered router top is still going strong, and is about to be modded slightly (aka cut to size) so I can use it as an extension wing on my tablesaw. (fitting between the fence rails).
wrt to Triton router spares - there is nothing good on the horizon (at least from my vantage point).
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